Changing the pricy perception of sustainable packaging

Some consumers believe that they have to pay a premium for sustainably packaged products. Natura &Co, a global personal care and cosmetics company famous for brands such as Aesop and The Body Shop, wanted to challenge this perception, and show consumers that sustainability and affordability could go hand in hand.

To prove this assumption, Manyone SAO and Natura &Co collaborated on developing a new product, Natura SOU. The key ambition was developing a sustainably packaged personal care product in the intermediate price range. This entailed the design of the new product line based on end-to-end sustainability principles and consumers expectations.

To gather key findings, ethnographic research was conducted with both consumers and consultants from several Brazilian states. During the research, our team focused on insights into what consumers deemed essential versus unnecessary for the Natura SOU product experience. The research investigated not only the sales process but also the product itself and how people dealt with Natura packaging.

Informed by the research, we found it critical to optimise both production and distribution systems for Natura SOU to make an impact on sustainability. Taking these insights into the prototyping phase, we worked with Natura &Co to redesign the product, logistics, business models, and the services that would relate to Natura SOU. This resulted in 70% less plastic used across its entire life cycle of the compared to conventional packaging in the industry.

The process and the design of the product line also triggered a change in the entire corporation, redefining the way cosmetic packaging design is approached at Natura &Co and it is now a key reference for sustainable initiatives in the company. One of these changes was simplifying production and logistics by using a single-plant assembly line to combine both manufacturing and packaging. Another improvement was packaging itself, with its sleek and foldable attributes, consumers could use the entire content in the package, in comparison to traditional plastic bottles where consumers are unable to extract every drop.

Following the release of the Natura SOU line, the value of Natura &Co’s shares increased by 5% and the product has received several design awards including an IF Design award.